I came to Moore College in early February 2012 and have been encouraged and excited to learn from the inside what a great place it is. In the past I’ve come across some perceptions about Moore College that I have been pleased to discover were more myth than reality. This is what I have observed as an outsider coming in:
I have found that the Moore College program is serious, thorough and demanding by choice, but is certainly not ‘too hard’. As with medicine, the work of looking after people’s spiritual health is serious. A program that offers what is needed for a lifetime of mission and ministry can’t be offered without laying a deep foundation that thoroughly prepares people for the challenges and complexities of serving at the coalface.
I have been surprised at how many students are preparing for chaplaincy, local or overseas mission, lay, pastoral, youth or student ministry roles, as well as ordained Anglican ministry. Around 22% of students are from other denominations—Presbyterian, Baptist, ethnic churches, independent churches, church plants etc.
I have been pleased to discover a wonderfully fun, vibrant and supportive community which truly displays the love of Christ. The number of groups that serve the student body is eye opening, not to mention the community social life on offer with events, cultural and sporting activities. The annual Moore College revue is just one example. As a fellowship of faculty and students, they don’t pay lip service to a ’living and learning in community’ ethos—they live by it.
The College is committed to preparing people for ministry in the context of community, maximising opportunities for the development of relationships. An intentional full-time residential program develops the convictions and character needed to minister to others and is structured to produce graduates competent to enter vocational ministry.
“Excellent academics, faithful staff who have a variety of views on non-core issues, great community with deep student relationships, a wide variety of student types.” The education program is accompanied by a rich pastoral program. The spiritual and social support offered through chaplaincy and small prayer groups and year-group and college-wide chapels each week make for deep relationships which meet people’s needs. Students help each other study, and faculty pastor through informal relationships over meals, 1-to-1 and living on campus. When asked what they most appreciate about Moore, many students say it is the ‘relationships’ and the ‘community’ as these survey answers show:
- “I have come to see how much the college cares about students and loves the gospel. I have been very impressed by the pastoral care here.”
- “Moore College is a community deeply committed to the study of God’s word, to the proclamation of God’s Son and to the care of God’s people. It is a highly supportive community with extremely capable and engaging academic staff.”
I have found a community in which women and women’s ministry is valued, with a large female population training for a vast array of ministry roles. The 108 undergraduate and 18 graduate women training at Moore College are an outstanding group, godly and gifted. In addition to two faculty members, twelve women chaplains serve in chaplaincy groups, on college mission, and in Bible exposition workshops.
Preaching is a core part of the preparation Moore provides. The preaching workshops are a practical way for students to hone their skills and learn how to preach. There are options for further development with faculty tuition and mentoring and special events like the annual Moore College Lectures in August, which in 2012 focused on application and preaching. Every part of the degree program is directed towards equipping students to preach.
I have been blessed to witness the college’s commitment to Christian mission. Students participate in college missions with local churches in urban, rural or overseas areas. Weekly mission and ministry hours and our annual Mission Awareness Week expose students to opportunities in global mission and encourage them to think about serving overseas. 75% of CMS NSW missionaries are Moore trained, and Moore has degree and correspondence students and graduates in more than 100 countries. Talk about local and global mission impact!
After 156 years the college continues in its commitment to prepare men and women to faithfully teach the word of God, to care for others in the name of Jesus Christ and to glorify God by making disciples.
I encourage you to find out about Moore for yourself by visiting during Open Week or Open Night in May and August or Open Day in September. Like me, you might discover that some of the things you may have heard about the college are more myth than Moore.
Mark Fairfull (6th August 2012)